The business of internal communications is rapidly changing — for those that get it. Those who get it vary across businesses, but you can’t argue with the benefits of effective employee engagement. Forbes reports that companies with high engagement scores produce 6% higher profit margins than those companies with low scores. Among a number of other compelling results, (HBR).
Internal Communication is Evolving
I think it is safe to say the business of internal communication has not evolved as quickly as consumer marketing, specifically digital marketing. Those who get it in internal communication are leveraging the strategies and tactics commonly used to engage or activate consumers. These are strategies that can be measured and even optimized to achieve results.
Data of Internal Audiences
Data-driven marketing practices produce insights that fuel ideas that can be tailored to any audience. What this means is you have the ability to communicate with your audience, build trust and activate them by showing them you know what they want, when they want it, and how they want it.
Leveraging data helps build trust by showing you are listening to your employees. This is a win-win strategy for anyone managing internal communications and of significant value to the employee.
Where to Start Segmenting Your Internal Audience?
Segmenting your internal audience starts by understanding your current audience. Here are a few questions segmenting your audience should answer:
- What motivates them?
- What do they need to be successful?
- What limits their productivity?
- What keeps them happy?
Breakdown your internal audience into groups and when necessary subgroups. Find the natural divisions within your organization and use that to help you get started. The segmentation at minimum should be based on data like age, gender, geographic location, professional specialty and/or level of experience.
Creating Targeted Messages for Internal Audiences
The segmentation process is part one. Part two is reliant on effective creative. When you develop your communications, you now begin to contextualize content to target the wants and needs of the audience. This means your project budget and duration needs to cover the additional time spent tailoring copy, images, designs, and any form of creative meant to target the variations to your audiences.
It’s really that simple, but again for those who get it. Those who get it might not know how to do this but that is ok and where this process starts. Your internal communications strategy should be based on what your employees want and need, aligned to business goals and objectives of the company, and staffed with a variety of specialists who have the experience and skill set to manage communications in a modern world.